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Looking for first bandsaw in £1500-£2000 range

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scubadoo

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Right then, I've been wanting a bandsaw for years and have finally deciding to set aside a reasonable chunk of cash - up to £2000 - to hopefully get a good one. Hopefully with some great advice from the forum. I've been researching for a while but finding it to be one of the hardest decisions.

I've never used a bandsaw and haven't physically viewed any so treat me as a complete beginner to bandsaws! I've spent a bit of time looking online at used models but as I'm looking after two small kids, realistically I don't have the time to collect, transport and potentially fix up an older machine even though I know it would be a sensible option. I also have a fairly small shop, about 6m x 3m.

I'd be looking to cut curves in thin boards and guitar body blanks/necks, dimension timber, rip boards ideally up to 250-300mm and if possible process some logs. I'd like it to be simple, robust and easy to adjust.

I've considered things like the
Startrite 403/503
Hammer (but not sure of prices)
Minimax S45n
Laguna - I really like the look of them but can't find much feedback - but see that Yandles are stocking them soon.
Centauros look nice but don't know much about them and probably too expensive.
Record BS400 sabre but not sure if i'd be happy enough with the build quality.

Any suggestions of models to consider or dealers would be much appreciated.
Thamks
Dave
 

Bodgers

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scubadoo":18n7gam3 said:
Right then, I've been wanting a bandsaw for years and have finally deciding to set aside a reasonable chunk of cash - up to £2000 - to hopefully get a good one. Hopefully with some great advice from the forum. I've been researching for a while but finding it to be one of the hardest decisions.

I've never used a bandsaw and haven't physically viewed any so treat me as a complete beginner to bandsaws! I've spent a bit of time looking online at used models but as I'm looking after two small kids, realistically I don't have the time to collect, transport and potentially fix up an older machine even though I know it would be a sensible option. I also have a fairly small shop, about 6m x 3m.

I'd be looking to cut curves in thin boards and guitar body blanks/necks, dimension timber, rip boards ideally up to 250-300mm and if possible process some logs. I'd like it to be simple, robust and easy to adjust.

I've considered things like the
Startrite 403/503
Hammer (but not sure of prices)
Minimax S45n
Laguna - I really like the look of them but can't find much feedback - but see that Yandles are stocking them soon.
Centauros look nice but don't know much about them and probably too expensive.
Record BS400 sabre but not sure if i'd be happy enough with the build quality.

Any suggestions of models to consider or dealers would be much appreciated.
Thamks
Dave
Wow, £2000 for a first time bandsaw!

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scubadoo

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Bodgers":piqs2wt5 said:
Wow, £2000 for a first time bandsaw!

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk

Well, from what I've read, many cheaper saws would struggle to do what i want to do. Unless you have any suggestions? Obviously I'd be happier if it was at the £1500 end of that price range :wink:

I don't personally see the point in buying an unsuitable cheaper machine that I'd be disappointed with, then having to upgrade it 1 or 2 times, spending more in the long run.
Dave
 

Bodgers

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scubadoo":12hui9vj said:
Bodgers":12hui9vj said:
Wow, £2000 for a first time bandsaw!

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk

Well, from what I've read, many cheaper saws would struggle to do what i want to do. Unless you have any suggestions? Obviously I'd be happier if it was at the £1500 end of that price range :wink:

I don't personally see the point in buying an unsuitable cheaper machine that I'd be disappointed with, then having to upgrade it 1 or 2 times, spending more in the long run.
Dave
I like you reasoning. You have some ambitious aims, so why not?

Make sure you have a decent electric supply to your workshop, I think some of these machines in this price range and size need a 16amp circuit.
 

sunnybob

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Do you have a thing against axminster? Theyre not on your list but they will deliver to your workshop for free.
That counts for a lot in your circumstances.
I applaud your sentiments. Cheap bandsaws really are the worst of the worst.
 

custard

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scubadoo":3d8q1sg8 said:
I don't personally see the point in buying an unsuitable cheaper machine that I'd be disappointed with, then having to upgrade it 1 or 2 times, spending more in the long run.
Dave
=D>
 

scubadoo

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Bodgers":1dfa3869 said:
I like you reasoning. You have some ambitious aims, so why not?

Make sure you have a decent electric supply to your workshop, I think some of these machines in this price range and size need a 16amp circuit.
Thanks
I'm checking with my spark but I'm pretty sure he left provisions for putting in a 16A circuit.
 

woodbloke66

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sunnybob":16cnjeo7 said:
Do you have a thing against axminster? Theyre not on your list but they will deliver to your workshop for free.
That counts for a lot in your circumstances.
I applaud your sentiments. Cheap bandsaws really are the worst of the worst.
Yep, I've got a big Industrial Ax b/s with a small footprint (some of them are ginormous) and huge doc (up to 450mm I think) and they will deliver straight into your workshop. It was in your price range but no longer supplied :( Runs off a 13A supply - Rob
 

scubadoo

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sunnybob":1gjqu523 said:
Do you have a thing against axminster? Theyre not on your list but they will deliver to your workshop for free.
That counts for a lot in your circumstances.
I applaud your sentiments. Cheap bandsaws really are the worst of the worst.
Thanks!

Nothing against Axminster at all, I really like the company, I buy lots of bits from them and I have a large pillar drill from them.

I just don't recall having read any reviews or seeing them come up in the various band saw threads.
 

scubadoo

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woodbloke66":2cp9c6ya said:
sunnybob":2cp9c6ya said:
Do you have a thing against axminster? Theyre not on your list but they will deliver to your workshop for free.
That counts for a lot in your circumstances.
I applaud your sentiments. Cheap bandsaws really are the worst of the worst.
Yep, I've got a big Industrial Ax b/s with a small footprint (some of them are ginormous) and huge doc (up to 450mm I think) and they will deliver straight into your workshop. It was in your price range but no longer supplied :( Runs off a 13A supply - Rob
Thanks.
Do you have any insight as to how the quality of their bandsaws compares to others?

You bring up one other desire there, a small footprint as I have a small workshop and something mobile that I cut move easily would be great.
 

mbartlett99

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The Hammer units are popular but are out of your price range a little - unless they have a demo which they advertise via their allied úsed'site.
 

Ttrees

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+1 on this too.
Anything up to a 20" bandsaw, will have the same footprint in your shop, as the smaller ones are on splayed stilts, and/or
the table will take up the room.
I wouldn't be put off by 3 phase machines, as you will get a better machine for much less money,
and not need to be fiddling with it, because that will amount to a lot more time lost than anything else, if you get
a machine that is too small for the job/have endless adjustments that move about, or have a table that aint flat or something else is the problem with...
Couple that with the amount of time researching for the best machine, and sifting through websites for folks who's opinion you
value/as in doing similar work you wish to do.
Used machines are half the price, and 3 phase are half that again!
You could get a machine that is practically new for half your budget, that is a reputable brand.
Buy an inverter/VFD for a hundred quid and set it up in a day.
Good luck
 

woodbloke66

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scubadoo":1r7o5nq9 said:
Do you have any insight as to how the quality of their bandsaws compares to others?

You bring up one other desire there, a small footprint as I have a small workshop and something mobile that I cut move easily would be great.
I'm certainly not trying to push Ax bandsaws in any way, but having used a modern Startrite, the build quality of the Ax machine is far superior. I'd suggest that Ax bandsaws are equal to other comparable makes on the market, with the advantage of free del into your 'shop and their after sales service. Fwiw, if you're close to a store, drive over to have a look at a selection - Rob
 

Yojevol

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With that budget you should be able to buy something pretty decent in the medium size range. From what you want to do with it you'll need a range of blades, so blade changing becomes a significant activity. In this respect the devil is in the detail. Guide adjustment needs to be easy. This is where my Startrite falls down, but it is 15 years old now and the latest models are much improved.
As Bob indicates, don't discount Axminster. Their trade range is on a par with the other suppliers you mention. Most of these machines originate from the same factories in China (even Felder's) but can vary in detail like guides and fences. I see you're in Bristol. I think a trip over to your nearest Axi in Cardiff would be a worthwhile exercise. If you home in on Record or Startrite, Toolite in Mitcheldean are good on price but they don't have everything on display.
If you're interested in a comprehensive book on the subject, I still have one left over from my recent sale. See item 9 in my post.
Brian
 

Farmer Giles

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Scott and sergeant have a used centauro sp500 for sale, single phase, looks mint. No price but you should get warranty.
 

scubadoo

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Farmer Giles":355rl6c2 said:
Scott and sergeant have a used centauro sp500 for sale, single phase, looks mint. No price but you should get warranty.
I did see that and have contacted them but I have no idea if they are well thought of, other than how expensive they are new! :wink:
 

Yojevol

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scubadoo":1d42yakk said:
Farmer Giles":1d42yakk said:
Scott and sergeant have a used centauro sp500 for sale, single phase, looks mint. No price but you should get warranty.
I did see that and have contacted them but I have no idea if they are well thought of, other than how expensive they are new! :wink:
S&S good company - mainly suppliers to industry. Centuro - good. When I was hunting round for my B/S I chatted to Record salesmen at an NEC exhibition. He surprisingly said "you really ought to be looking at Centuro as well"!
Brian
 

shed9

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I found myself in your position a few years back and narrowed it down to the first three on your list (although I think the current Startrite model was a 502 then).

I was just about to push the button on the Startrite when I got offered a good deal on a Hammer n4400 as part of a Hammer package (with other kit).

The Hammer is just brilliant, well made, solid and true.

I just tried checking the current prices using my logon but they aren't showing up at present. If I remember rightly they seemed to be not that far off the Startrite equivalent sized saw.

I would recommend calling Felder/Hammer and have a chat with them. They did a few UK / European shows recently, they may have some demo units available. Either way it's worth the phone call.

Do be warned though, if you buy their kit they will call you twice a year for the rest of your life......
 

scubadoo

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I have to say that the Hammer N4400 looks perfect but I think it'll be out of my budget. but I'll get in touch with them.
S+S have suggested the Startrite 403.

Thanks for all the comments so far.
Are there any other specific models I should consider?
 
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